Today is Memorial Day, which is a time to remember those who have fought for our freedom that we enjoy here in the United States. I was in NYC this weekend and it was Fleet Week New York, so there were many service men and women in the city getting a chance to take a break from their jobs and enjoy some leisure time.

Every chance I got, whether it was on the street waiting for a light to change so we could walk, or standing in an elevator, or sitting in a Broadway show, I took the chance to thank these young men and women for what they were doing for me and everyone else in the USA. Each time it brought a big smile and you could feel they appreciated the comments, and were proud of what they were doing.

As I mentioned last week thanking people for the value that they provide builds self-esteem and is another great way to encourage people.

I also use Memorial Day as a day to try to remember and recognize those people that have mentored me in my past that have helped shape my leadership point of view. I feel it is very important to let people know how much they have meant to you throughout your life. It is important to not assume that they know that, but instead to be intentional about letting them know specifically the positive impact that they have had on your life.

I have been coaching a number of executives recently that I have encouraged to recognize those important mentors in their life. They have taken the time to either personally verbalize their thoughts, or to write nice letters to their mentors and have found it to have a profound impact on that person who has mentored them.

Knowing and understanding the way some key people have mentored you throughout your life and career can also help you pay that forward to people that you have a chance to mentor in your life. When you share your story with others it also helps build relationships with people, which is a key aspect of effective servant leadership.

So Dad, Kim, Ron, & Chris thanks so much for the amazing positive impact that you have had on my life. You have helped shape my work ethic, my priorities, my focus, and my leadership philosophy. Thanks also to all of you who I have had the amazing pleasure to work with throughout my career, as well as all of my dear family and friends. Each of you has somehow helped shape the fabulous experiences that I have enjoyed and formed the foundation of what I am doing today.

I wish all of you a super Memorial Day week, and encourage you to thank any service men and women that you know, as well as those that have mentored you along the way as well.

Mark Deterding